We are a network of independent, highly successful rare disease business leaders and experts.

José Albuquerque - Senior Advisor

José Albuquerque is a seasoned executive from Biotech and Pharma business, that developed his career in Portugal and at European level.

During his 35 years in Pharma and Biotech business, José Albuquerque has made strong achievements in launching products, developing business, coaching and managing people and leading companies.

Started his long career at MSD - Merck Sharp and Dohme, where he developed his core knowledge on Pharma business in multiple positions, during almost 20 years. In 2002 moved to Novartis, as Director of Sales, quickly stirred to international positions, becoming Head of General Medicine for Spain and then to Novartis Headquarters.

Meanwhile in 2006 accepted the challenge to set-up Celgene in Portugal, as General Manager, leading the organization from 2006 to 2012. Since 2013 has been managing his own Pharma company - Mernovis. 

José Albuquerque was the Secretary General of P-BIO, the Portuguese Bioindustry Association, maintaining contacts with Portuguese start-ups in different sectors including life-sciences, EuropaBio and the Orphan Drugs working group (started in Portugal by José Albuquerque in 2012).

José has an MBA from IE Business School, Spain.

Franck Auvray - Senior Advisor

Franck Auvray is a Biopharmaceuticals executive with more than 25 years of commercialization, leadership and market access expertise. He has held various sales & marketing positions in Virology, Oncology  and Haematology at Roche France.

Then he joined Celgene as commercial leader to further develop the French affiliate. In 2011, Franck is appointed VP, General Manager of Celgene France. His commitment : developing the skills of its teams within a collaborative ecosystem based on Celgene's values ​​and the culture of feedback, as well as meeting the complex market access challenges of  the French market.

In addition, Franck AUVRAY is a member of the Board of Directors of AGIPHARM as well as LEEM, where he also leads the e-Health Commission.

In August 2018, the Board of KITE Pharma Inc., a biotechnology company developing CAR-T cells, asked Franck AUVRAY to join the group in order to create their French subsidiary.

Then he decided to create AD'sf Partners to counsel pharmaceutical companies and their leaders in their developments, organisations and strategic approaches.

AD'sf Partners, represented by Franck AUVRAY, takes over the management of PharmaBlue,  subsidiary of BlueReg group, a pharmaceutical “Exploitant” licensed by ANSM, which helps pharmaceutical companies make their medicines available to French patients either within the framework of ATU is in the context of marketing after obtaining the MA.

Jordi Badia - Founding Partner

With a successful business career in life sciences spanning over 25 years, Jordi is a seasoned international executive experienced in running biopharmaceutical businesses globally.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Jordi spent several years at Alexion Pharmaceuticals as its European commercial head and general manager. He played a critical role in the set up and expansion of Alexion, as well as in the launch of Soliris® (eculizumab) in the EMEA Region. Jordi joined Alexion after working as the head of global marketing at Almirall, where he managed the company’s product portfolio globally and led the establishment of its commercial operations in Europe and Latin America. Additionally, Jordi worked at Abbott Laboratories’ global headquarters in Chicago, where he drove the international launch of Synagis® (palivizumab) in his position as global brand leader. Before working for Abbott, he spent eight years at Novartis, initially as a corporate financial controller at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and later as Novartis’ China business development director at its Beijing office.

Jordi received an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University at Bloomington. He was recognized for his international academic excellence with a Kelley’s Global Achievement Award. Jordi also earned a license of law from Universidad de Barcelona School of Law.

Jordi is a member of the faculty at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. His research and teaching focus on business economics and public policy issues regarding rare diseases and the biopharmaceutical ecosystem. He also serves on the advisory board of the Kelley School’s Center for the Business of Life Sciences. Jordi is a member of the Luxembourg Business Angel Network. He has been a member of the Barcelona Bar Association since 1990.

Mark Barrett - Partner; UK, Ireland & Middle East

Mark has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with the last 15 years working specifically on orphan and ‘ultra-orphan’ medicines. He has a proven track record in product development, sales, marketing and business management, as well as international experience across medical device and ethical pharmaceutical products. He has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by rare disease patients.

In 2014, Mark founded Orphan Insight Ltd., a specialty consulting firm that provides support to companies looking to enter the rare disease market and those already in this market. Clients include GSK, Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Insmed, Prosensa, BioMarin and NPS Pharmaceuticals.  

Prior to becoming a consultant, Mark spent seven years at Alexion Pharmaceuticals as managing director for the UK and Ireland. He established UK and Ireland operations for this US-based company with the primary objective of commercialising Soliris® (eculizumab) in that region. Soliris was successfully launched for the treatment of two different conditions, achieving commercial targets despite significant market access barriers.

Before joining Alexion, he was general manager at Orphan Europe, where he was responsible for all operations in the UK and Ireland in multiple therapeutic areas for rare and very rare conditions. Mark previously served as general manager of Profile Pharma Ltd., where he was responsible for the development, licensing and commercialisation of Promixin® (colistimethate sodium).

Mark shares his expertise with many different groups. He is a member of the Department of Health’s working group on the development of the UK National Strategy for Rare Diseases. Mark serves on the management committee of Rare Disease UK, a multi-stakeholder group focused on improving quality of life for rare diseases patients. He is a member of the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) stakeholder group on the development of the Highly Specialised Technology assessment process. In addition, he served as co-chair of ABPI Orphan Medicines Industry Group from 2009 to 2014.

Jean Caraux - Senior Advisor

Jean Caraux, M.D., Ph.D., is a biotech/pharma industry executive with broad and successful experience in the commercialization, operations and strategic development of orphan therapies for unmet medical needs in multiple therapeutic areas. He has a proven track record of successful revenue and profit growth.

Jean’s career spans over 40 years. Before focusing on investment and consulting, Jean played a critical role at Celgene in setting up its French affiliate. He then successively represented Europe and Asia Pacific as a vice president focused on strategic development of the portfolio.

Prior to joining Celgene, he served in Paris as medical director for Amgen, in addition to consulting for and investing in promising European biotech companies. Before working at Amgen, Jean led the international clinical development of the Pasteur-Mérieux therapeutic branch in Lyon, France.

Jean was trained as an M.D. and Ph.D. He became a successful scientist in immunology oncology — leading a research laboratory (Unité INSERM) at the age of 33, with focus on NK cells, cancer, transplantation, molecular biology and monoclonal antibodies.

Jean has developed a superior strategic aptitude, deep understanding of key companies and industry trends, as well as a robust knowledge of the success factors and the right environment for developing and commercialising innovative therapies.

Jean’s scientific and business acumen in a broad set of therapeutic areas help him judge the relative potential of competing technologies and therapeutic approaches. He is well versed in the new scientific frontiers (i.e. targeted therapy, immunology, cell therapies, genomics). His background in business, medicine and science give him the unique ability to interact with business leaders as well as R&D teams.

Jean has developed expertise in a broad set of therapeutic areas, such as oncology and hematology, nephrology, inflammation, bone and metabolism.

Alain Coppex - Partner; Switzerland

Pharmacist by education (Master in Sciences – Federal Diploma of Pharmacy, University of Lausanne, 1993), Alain founded Seventeen Pharma Sàrl in 2015, with the objective to help Orphan Drugs companies to understand and to realize the Swiss market opportunity in a pragmatic and efficient way, with ad-hoc partners.

Not being an EU member, Switzerland is often out of the radar screen of biotech companies launching a new product in Europe. The consequence is that Swiss patients suffering with Rare Diseases unfairly get access to new therapies later than patients from other countries. Seventeen Pharma is here to support these companies to better prioritize Switzerland in their launching sequence, to understand how to approach and to structure their Swiss business, and thus allow Swiss patients suffering from Rare Diseases to get access to new therapies as quickly and efficiently as possible. In this context, Alain has been (and still is for some) partnering with Amicus, Chiesi (ex-Raptor, ex-Horizon), Alnylam, Biogen, PTC and Effik for example.

Alain brings > 20 years of Sales, Marketing and Management experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with a special focus on Rare Diseases over the last 12 years. He has a thorough experience and understanding of the Swiss pharmaceutical market, both as an independent and as an employee of highly specialized Orphan Drugs biotech companies:

1994 – 2006: various sales, marketing and managerial positions at Lilly Suisse SA and Novartis Pharma Schweiz AG.
2006 – 2015: Country Director (Switzerland) to Senior Director and General Manager (Switzerland and BeNeLux) at Shire and NPS Pharmaceuticals
2015: creation of Seventeen Pharma Sàrl

During his 8 years with Shire, Alain was responsible for 4 products in the Rare Diseases field (Fabry Disease, Gaucher Disease, Hunter Disease and HAE), including 3 launches. With a special mention to extensive KOLs’ management, mainly in Switzerland, where he could develop long term relationships with key stakeholders, national screening initiatives and partnerships with Patients’ Organizations.

Alain is providing the Orphan Now network with an in-depth knowledge of the Swiss market and its highly specialized ecosystem. Alain is based close to Montreux, in the French speaking part of Switzerland. He is fluent in French (mother tongue), English and German.

Giovanni Galliano - Senior Advisor

Giovanni Galliano is a Pharma and Biotech executive with more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with the last 25 years working specifically on orphan drugs and ultra-rare diseases.

Since 2015, Giovanni is a consultant, expert in rare diseases/orphan drugs field, with a deep knowledge in market access, pricing and reimbursement negotiation, EAPs procedures and implementation.

Over the last few years, he served as Country Manager, Territory Manager and General Manager for several International Biotech Companies aiming to start their activities in Italy.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Giovanni spent several years at Genzyme Italy as Commercial Director and Genzyme Southern Europe as Senior MKT Director and, later on, at Molteni Farmaceutici as European Commercial Director and General Manager for Germany.

In 2011 he founded Regal Optical Centre, a company based in the North East of Italy, focused on the eyecare and the lens and contact lenses production and commercialisation.

Hans-Peter Halbritter - Senior Advisor

Hans Peter Halbritter looks back on more than 27 years of experience as commercial biopharma executive in the area of severe chronic and rare diseases, including distinct experience in immunology, hemophilia, rare hematology, neurology and critical care. Hans Peter held several national and regional leadership roles as Managing Director at Baxalta and as Director of various Business Units at Baxter, Baxalta and Shire.

In his role as EMEA launch lead of world-leading rare hematology therapies and through a variety of national and international leadership roles he gained a wealth of commercial experience. Hans Peter headed-up large diversified teams, medium-sized marketing and sales organizations, as well as small powerful specialty teams in the field of rare diseases and specialty care.

Over the last few years he has put his leadership focus on organizational change processes to increase commercial efficiency and effectiveness in the framework of corporate spin-off and integration initiatives.  Transformational change leadership and the development of purpose-driven high-performing teams are prominent key topics on his agenda as commercial manager, leader and consultant.
Over several years Hans Peter acted as board member of the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association, PPTA, in Germany. Most recently Hans Peter founded Trisalta GmbH - a Biopharma Consulting firm working with clients in the specialty care and rare disease space.

Hans Peter Halbritter holds a master-degree in Biology from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.

Anders Kärnell - Senior Advisor

Anders Kärnell is a Medical Doctor with more than 15 years of experience in the life science sector spanning vaccines, orphan drugs and development of potential treatments for rare diseases. Anders has broad clinical and international management experience in many therapeutic areas at various organizations. These ranged from small start-up firms to biotech companies and big pharma — encompassing the Nordics, Europe and United States.

Over the last few years, Anders has been owner of his own consultancy company, PharMedCon Europe AB. In this capacity, he supported an orphan drug firm developing an innovative lifesaving therapy for an ultra-rare disease. Key activities included clinical data analysis and the establishment of pan-European stakeholder network. For another client, Anders was instrumental in the launch of a groundbreaking infectious disease product.

Prior to establishing his own company, Anders spent three years with Alexion as vice president of development and medical affairs in Europe. He led a pan-European team of medical, regulatory and pharmacovigilance associates, building medical expertise around Soliris® (eculizumab) for the identification and treatment of ultra-rare diseases. He enhanced disease awareness and product knowledge by interacting with leading physicians across Europe.

Anders previously served as the Nordic chief scientific officer at Novartis, as well as the European head of medical affairs at PowderJect in the UK. He began his career at SBL Vaccine and Active Biotech in Sweden.

Anders received his medical degree at the Karolinska Institute where he also earned his Ph.D. He obtained his executive MBA at Stockholm School of Economics.

Robert-Jan Van Son - Partner; BeNeLux and Nordics

Robert-Jan is a results-driven biotech leader with deep expertise supporting biotech companies by creating (early) market access for innovative drugs launching in Europe, especially in the Nordic and Benelux countries.

With over 25 years of experience, he has been in various management positions with increasing responsibilities in sales, marketing, market access, operations, project leadership and regional management.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Robert-Jan worked for companies such as AstraZeneca, Schering-Plough (MSD) and Celgene. At Celgene, he built the Dutch organization from scratch and re-structured the Nordic organization into a healthy, well-managed team. He then became regional general manger, heading the Nordic and Benelux organization, while also leading a very successful European launch of Imnovid® (pomalidomide).

Robert-Jan also served as COO at MyTomorrows, an Internet platform supporting patients with high unmet medical need. In this role, he helped build a successful start-up organization, optimized the business model, restructured the organization and hired key talent. During his tenure, MyTomorrows gained its manufacturing and wholesaler license for early access treatment (Phase II+ products).

A highly accomplished and results-driven executive, Robert-Jan’s experience is both cross-cultural and cross-functional. He is innovative, and he takes ownership and creates structure where needed. A passionate leader, Robert-Jan’s leadership style fosters mutual trust and respect while encouraging both personal accomplishments and successful teamwork.

Robert-Jan has a medical degree from Utrecht University, and he also trained at Cranfield School of Management at Cranfield University.

Most of his experience is in early access oncology, CNS and (ultra-) rare diseases. He deeply believes that patients should always be put first!

Ben Wu - Partner - Greater China

Mr. Wu is currently the founder and managing director of Primis Medical Solutions, a Hong Kong-based life sciences advisory firm serving the Greater China Region.  PrimisMed works with both private and public companies in all therapeutic areas and stages of development on Greater China-related transactions and market entries including asset acquisition, in/out licensing, investor search, due diligence, clinical development, commercial strategies etc.   Mr. Wu is also an independent commercial consultant to a number of companies in the rare disease and oncology space.

Mr. Wu was the founding CEO of Citrine Medicine from 2019 to 2021.  Citrine Medicine was founded in 2019 to focus on making therapies for rare and specialty diseases available and accessible to patients in China.  He has assembled a leadership team composing of business development, regulatory, medical affairs and clinical development functions; and led the efforts in licensing the company’s first two products.  Citrine Medicine has raised $80 million in series A funding with investors including Eight Roads, F-Prime Capital, Vivo Capital, Quan Capital, 3H Health Investment and WU Capital. 

Prior to joining Citrine Medicine, Mr. Wu was the Head of Rare Diseases at CANbridge Pharmaceuticals from 2017-2019.  He was responsible for shaping the company’s strategy by establishing the company’s rare disease unit and diversifying its portfolio through business development to become a leading rare disease company in China.  Mr. Wu led the efforts in in-licensing the company’s first orphan drug and completed its NDA submission in China.

Mr. Wu has over twenty-seven years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, holding senior executive positions in the Asia Pacific region.  Mr. Wu first joined Sanofi-Genzyme in 2008 to pioneer the company’s efforts in expanding into Hong Kong, followed by general management positions covering Southeast Asia, Taiwan and China.  Mr. Wu was the general manager at Sanofi-Genzyme in China from 2012-2015.

Mr. Wu has a deep knowledge in the Greater China markets and a strong network among the rare disease communities in Asia.  Prior to joining Genzyme, Mr. Wu spent over 14 years at Johnson & Johnson where he held local and regional leadership positions with increasing responsibilities. 

Mr. Wu is a registered pharmacist in Canada, with a Bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and an MBA from the University of British Columbia in Canada.